Trada Launch Press Release

Trada’s Expert Crowds Boost Search Ad Results in Google and Yahoo

Foundry Group and industry angels invest $2.2 million in new way to make paid search pay for small and medium businesses.

Boulder, Colo. – March 18, 2010 – Trada launched to the public today the first online marketplace allowing small and medium businesses and agencies to leverage the skills of hundreds of paid search experts, who in turn earn money by generating low-cost clicks and conversions for advertisers. Trada entered private beta in January 2009 and has more than 70 advertisers and 280 experts to date.

Search advertising is practically a requirement for running a business today, but it requires more time and expertise to succeed than most small and medium businesses have. Many overpay for common keywords or use too few keywords to drive adequate traffic. Often, they give up when initial results don’t justify the cost and effort.

Trada boosts search engine pay-per-click (PPC) advertising results by mobilizing a crowd of experts to collaboratively build and manage an advertiser’s paid search campaign across search engines. It currently supports Google AdWords and Yahoo Search Marketing. Support for Microsoft AdCenter is scheduled for later this year.

To date, advertisers spending thousands (not millions) per month experienced scale and results that rivaled large brand advertisers, including:

  • 25 PPC experts per campaign
  • 6,500 keywords per campaigns
  • 110 ad copy combinations per campaign
  • 3.6% conversion rate (compared to roughly 2% industry average)

Advertisers use Trada to enter information about a campaign, a target price per click or a price for another desired action, such as registering with a site or purchasing a product. Experts, who must be AdWords or SEMPO certified and pass Trada certification, use the site to submit keywords, ad copy and bid prices across the search engines and to track and optimize campaigns across the ad networks.

Since August, YouRenew, a company that pays people to recycle electronics, dropped its average new customer acquisition cost by 26 percent and increased its new customer growth rate from online advertising by 27 percent by participating in the Trada marketplace.

“Trada brings a level of expertise and scale to the campaign that we simply couldn’t achieve with our in-house marketing team, which already is stretched thin running other programs,” said Rich Littlehale, co-founder and chief strategy officer of YouRenew.

For PPC experts, Trada provides a way to make their skills pay without the overhead costs of finding and managing new clients. Experts earn money when they generate clicks or other actions for less than the advertiser’s target price. During the beta program, top performers earned hundreds, even thousands of dollars per month.

“As a Trada expert, I put my paid search experience to work for dozens of advertisers and make money doing something I’m good at and enjoy,” said Ben Castelli, a search expert based in Boulder, Colo.

Trada was founded by Niel Robertson, who also founded Newmerix and Service Metrics (which sold to Exodus for $280 million in 1999). Robertson dreamed up Trada after growing frustrated managing his own $8,000-a-month paid search campaign. Realizing that paid search campaigns are best left to experts, he set out to build an online marketplace that would attract PPC experts and be simple enough for small business owners to use.

“Our goal is to make it ridiculously easy to be successful with paid search. We knew there was a way to let advertisers work from business goals and reward experts for delivering against those goals,” said Robertson.

Trada received $2.2 million from Foundry Group — which has backed community- powered sites including Zynga and StickTwits — and angel investors Alan Warms, Carlos Cashman, Dan Murray, James Crouthamel, Stuart Larkins and Robert Wolfe.

“Trada has the potential to remake a part of the advertising industry that to date has worked well primarily for big advertisers, not smaller ones: paid search,” said Seth Levine, managing partner of the Foundry Group in Boulder, Colo. “It’s exciting to see experts come together to solve a multibillion-dollar problem.”

About Trada

Based in Boulder, Colo., Trada boosts paid search campaigns by employing a crowd of pay-per-click experts to leverage their collective knowledge to deliver results. Founded in September 2008 by startup veteran Niel Robertson. For more information, visit
Press Contact:
Elaine Ellis
PR and Social Media Manager
elaine at
(720) 252-8105

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